These TV Moms Were Almost As Influential As Our Real Ones
Nothing can replace the unconditional love and lessons taught to us by our own mothers, but we can’t deny the fact that television is a big influence on our personality. From a young age, we’ve been glued to our television screens watching, listening, and learning from TV moms.
From The Brady Bunch to Modern Family, television moms have taught us a lot about life, love, and loss. In many cases, we grow so attached to these characters that we end up taking pieces of their personalities when we become parents ourselves.
A lot of pressure came along with being the mom of the first all-black TV family, and Claire Huxtable found a perfect balance. She was tough but elegant. Claire had street smarts and book smarts. Her kids were always more scared to cross her and her husband, but still felt comfortable coming to her for comfort and reassurance.
She showed all women that they could hold their own at home while maintaining a career and have a few laughs in between.
Lorelai was the ultimate BFF mom. While other TV moms were running around keeping their kids in line or fixing their husband’s mistakes, Lorelai was a single mom who was simply the ultimate best friend to her daughter Rory.
She still made sure to act like a mom when it was necessary, but Lorelai understood that Rory needed more than just a mom. Anyone watching could only dream of having a relationship filled with the witty banter that this mother-daughter duo had.
Peggy from Married… With Children was the ultimate 80s sitcom mom because she took the stereotypes from the 60s and 70s and flipped them on their head. She was the anti-housewife. Yes, Peggy would smoke on the couch in her stilettos rather than cook or clean, but she was fiercely devoted to her family.
Peggy’s love for Al and her children proved to us all that even the most dysfunctional families are bonded together with love.
Keep reading to see which “modern” mom we’ve all turned into.
The 80s were filled with sitcom moms turning stereotypes on their heads, but former hippie-turned-housewife Elyse Keaton was one of the strangest. She ended up as the matriarch of a materialistic, uptight family of Family Ties, but she kept them down to earth with her laidback vibes.
Elyse treated each of her kids with respect, love, and a dash of flower power. She showed us all that there is more than one way to be a great mom.
For many of us, Carol Brady was the first TV mom in our lives. The Brady Bunch was a picture of an ideal American family, and Carol was the matriarch of it all. She somehow made raising six crazy children look easy, but then again, she was lucky enough to have a housekeeper.
What made Carol Brady special to us all was that if you looked past the famous haircut and picture-perfect smile, she was just an everyday mom trying to make life the best it could be for her children.
Claire is one of the best pictures of 21st-century motherhood that has graced television in years. All the kids who grew up watching Peggy Bundy and Claire Huxtable grew up, had kids, and turned into Claire Dunphy. Now they can sit back and watch their lives play out on television.
Claire may come off as uptight or controlling, but she uses humor and sarcasm to get through the daily grind of raising three Gen Z kids.
The TV mom coming up made history by being the first with a pregnant storyline.
Estelle was a surprisingly realistic picture of the overbearing and dramatic mother that will continue to raise their child into adulthood. She was meddlesome and known for her mood swings, but that sounds like our real-life mothers. Estelle may have been overbearing, but it was always for a good cause.
She wanted the best for George and simply didn’t realize that her meddling often made things worse. George may have resented it some days, but I’m sure he knew that it was all love.
Not only was Becky from Full House the hot, young mom that everyone aspired to be one day, but we got to watch her grow into her motherhood. She started out as a career woman co-hosting on Danny Tanner’s morning show, and slowly evolved into mothering the Tanner family and eventually giving birth to her own twins.
Becky showed us all that starting a family doesn’t mean losing the career and life you had before — it makes it even better.
Lucy was breaking down barriers for TV moms from the start. After Lucille Ball became pregnant in her off-screen life, Lucy was the first character to be shown on TV as being pregnant (even though her and Ricky slept in separate beds still).
After her child Little Ricky arrived on the scene, she evolved from being a fun woman to being a fun mom. Lucy kept all her quirks and personality traits, but now she had a son to deal with.
Keep reading the see three working moms from your favorite ’80s sitcoms.
Murphy’s motherhood story began after the TV journalist became impregnated by her ex-husband who didn’t want to raise a child. She did what many women do and decided to raise the kid herself.
Then Vice President of the United States Dan Quayle said that the show was “ignoring the importance of fathers by birthing a child alone.” Clearly, Quayle had no idea that being a single, working mom is a reality for millions of Americans. It was refreshing to see the reality of life be represented on the small screen.
Angela from Who’s The Boss? was one of the first women to show us that you can be a high-powered divorced woman and still successfully raise a family. While most divorced TV moms focus on the struggle with their ex-husbands, Angela’s main plot-line was that she worked so hard as a New York ad exec that she couldn’t keep up with the traditional housewife duties.
So, she did what any of us would do: hire a live-in housekeeper that’s easy on the eyes. She’s an early icon for working moms.
Maggie from Growing Pains was another stereotypical ’80s sitcom mom with a job, but she was one of the few that openly struggled with the guilt. As more men took on parenting duties, the guilt of leaving the kids at home and “choosing” a career over them became a reality of life for women in America.
The actress who portrayed Maggie, Joanna Kerns, spoke about taking the role because she was a working, newly-single mom and felt she could do the character justice.
The fiery redhead coming up had to deal with everything from teenage pregnancy to divorce as a TV mom.
We all knew a mom like Kitty growing up. She was the one who took in every friend of her child’s and treated them like family. She came off as the stereotypical mom, but once you got to know her, you realized just how cool and laid back she was.
She was a ray of sunshine, but every once in a while her rebellious past and hilarious potty mouth made an appearance to remind us that moms are human too.
When you’re young, it’s easy to think that all the fun fades away as you grow old, have kids, and enter into old age. Sophia showed us all that we are very, very wrong for thinking that. Sophia was the oldest of The Golden Girls,but was still as sharp and witty as ever.
She may have thrown some incredible shade during the show, but she deeply cared for her daughter Dorothy and took in Rose and Blanche as her own children.
Reba’s life may have come off as a dramatic soap-opera to some of us, but it’s also a reality to many others. She was a single mom with a pregnant teenage daughter and cheating ex-husband. It sucks, but unfortunately, many women have dealt with the same misfortunes.
Reba reminded us that with hard work, a touch of sarcasm, and unconditional love for her family, you can make it through anything life throws at you.
The only cartoon mom to grace this list is here for a reason: she redefined motherhood. The Simpsons was one of the first shows to portray an average, vulgar, dysfunctional American family, and they could do that solely because it was a cartoon.
To this day, Marge is the grounding factor in the Simpson family. She went against her parent’s wishes to marry the love of her life. Homer might have a lot of flaws, but her unwavering support doesn’t show weakness — it shows strength.
Lucille from Arrested Development is about as sassy and blunt as you can get in a TV mom. Her parenting techniques might be less than ideal, but it can definitely teach us a lot. Her honesty, confidence, and resilience may come off as selfish or harsh, but there’s a soft side to her.
She’s as relatable as it gets for anyone with a monster-in-law. Lucille managed to teach us exactly what to do (and what not to do) when we become parents.
At her core, Catelyn from Game Of Thrones would do anything for her children. She was willing to kidnap, punch, and slit the throat of anyone who came close to putting her children in danger. Her unbreakable bond with her children has kept them working hard to return to each other throughout the entire series.
A fierce, loyal, and loving mom is a trademark of the entire GoT series. For all their flaws, Olenna Tyrell, Daenerys Targaryen, and Cersei Lannister are all boss ladies who do it all for their children.
The negative buzz around Roseanne’s comeback in 2018 was warranted, but it shouldn’t take away from how influential her character was on the original run of the show. Roseanne Conner was not just a working mom with children. She was blue-collar.
She worked odd jobs to support her family and even became a small-business owner at one point. Say what you want about her, but the original run of Roseanne gave blue-collar women a relatable face on television.
Lois from Malcolm In The Middle gets a bad rep. She might be described as overbearing and cruel, but can you blame her with a family like that? She is surrounded by four immature boys and a husband who somehow always makes things worse.
Behind the hard outer shell, she is highly intelligent and does hold a deep love for her family. Her own hard upbringing is reflected in how she raises her boys, but she can admit to her own mistakes.